Friday, 19 December 2014

Bill Cosby's Lawyer Says ''Black Media'' Comments Were ''Misconstrued,'' Blasts Reporting as ''Mean-Spirited'' and ''Reckless''

Bill Cosby is backtracking on his comments which he allegedly gave in an interview to the New York Post earlier this month, during which he reportedly said that he only expects to be treated fairly by "black media."

The 77-year-old comedian's lawyer, John P. Schmitt, issued a statement to NBC News, saying that his client's comments were "misconstrued" by reporter Stacy Brown, who conducted the interview with Cosby via phone.

"Mr. Cosby's comments to Stacy Brown which were reported in the New York Post on December 14 continue to be misconstrued in a way that can only call into question the fair-mindedness of certain commentators," Schmitt said. "As previously noted, Mr. Brown identified himself to Mr. Cosby as a free-lance reporter for a number of African-American media. To be clear, Mr. Cosby did not ask for special treatment from the African-American media. To the contrary, he asked that they adhere to journalistic standards and approach the story in a neutral manner -   without a predisposition on either side of the story. It is of course what we would expect of all media."

Brown's purported conversation with Cosby was published in both the Washington Informer as well as the New York Post's Page Six section. In the Page 6 story, Brown alleged that Cosby's comments were of a means of "breaking his silence" with regards to the ongoing rape allegations which have now been brought against the embattled actor by more than 20 some women.

"Let me say this. I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism and when you do that you have to go in with a neutral mind," Cosby reportedly told Brown.

Cosby's wife of 50 years, Camille, most recently spoke out in her husband's defense and compared the coverage of the sexual assault allegations to Rolling Stone's UVA rape story. The actor's lawyers have also vehemently denied the various allegations.

The stand-up comedian's most recent statement also takes aim at Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson, who, on Wednesday, accused the actor of "raping" the black community.

"Those words, which are clear on their face and with which any fair-minded person would have to agree, have now been the source of even greater criticism of Mr. Cosby," the statement continued, referencing Cosby's alleged comments to Brown. "In perhaps the most egregious example, Michael Eric Dyson, who has been a persistent critic of Mr. Cosby's call for responsibility in the African-American community, has stated that Mr. Cosby's request for neutrality is part of what he calls Mr. Cosby's 'rape [of the ] entire black community.' Mr. Cosby understands that Mr. Dyson does not agree with Mr. Cosby's views, but such mean-spirited and reckless rhetoric cannot go unchallenged by responsible people and journalists."

Earlier this week, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced it will not be filing charges against Cosby in connection with Judy Huth's claim that he molested her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974 when she was 15 years old, noting that the statute of limitations had passed. Huth has also filed a civil suit against Cosby, which his attorney countered, alleging that she tried to extort $250,000 from Cosby before she sued.

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